Monday, April 27, 2009

Exposing The Palestinian's Phony 'Demographics' Threat Against Israel

You've heard it all before, as the prime rationale for a Palestinian state by the left..if those stubborn Joos don't knuckle under and give the Palestinians everything they want, the Arabs will soon be a majority. And then the only choices the Jews will have left is to be a minority in their own country or to give up democracy in favor of minority rule.

I've discussed what absolute horse manure this is many times, but it might be helpful to share the latest real numbers for those who still need convincing:

Israel's population on the eve of its 61st Independence Day numbers 7,411,000, according to data released by the Central Bureau of Statistics Monday afternoon.

Last year, the population was 7,282,000, and when Israel was established, it was just 806,000.

About 75.5 percent, or 5,593,000, of Israel's residents are Jews, 1,498,000 are Arabs (20.2%), while "Others" - immigrants and their offspring who are not registered as Jews by the Interior Ministry - number 320,000 (4.3%).

Let's look at this more closely. Two things the article doesn't mention. One, out of the 806,000 population mentioned in 1948, almost the exact same percentage, around 20%, were Arab, and that ratio has remained constant throught Israel's history. So much for the rapidly expanding Arab population. Second, the term 'Arab' does not mesh in the least with 'Palestinian.'

That Arab population includes not only Arabs with residence permits who are not Israeli citizens, but Druse, Circassians and Bedouins, who proudly serve in the IDF and do not regard the Quraysh Palestinians fondly, to say the least.

Another factor is increased Arab emigration and the Palestinian's constant inflation of the Arab numbers. They've got plenty of motivation to do so, as Yakov Faitelson points in in his recounting of various bogus population estimates:

Why fudge the numbers? There are two important reasons: First, overstating the Palestinian population is good for Palestinian morale, bad for Israeli morale, and heightens Jewish fears of the so-called "demographic time bomb"; second, there is a significant financial incentive, as the international community provides money to the Palestinian Authority according to the number of its inhabitants. When the Palestinian Authority pads its population numbers, the Palestinian Authority receives more money.

I'll say! When the Saudis demanded an audit before they would provide aid to the Palestinian Authority, they found over 37,000 'no-show jobs' - non-existant people who were nevertheless drawing paychecks from UNRWA and other idiot Western donors.)

Careful demographic analysis, however, should lead to a conclusion in stark contrast to the demographic time bomb thesis. The natural increase of the Jewish population in Israel—that is, its yearly birth rate less its yearly death rate—stabilized thirty years ago and, since 2002, has even begun to grow. The natural increase of the total Arab population, comprising both Israeli Arabs and the Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza, continues to descend toward convergence with the Jewish population, probably in the latter half of this century.

The data, moreover, point to rising levels of Arab emigration, particularly among young people. According to the survey conducted by Bir-Zeit University, 32 percent of all Palestinians and 44 percent of Palestinian youth would emigrate if they could.[48] The official Palestinian newspaper Al-Hayat al-Jadida has reported similar numbers.[49] A public opinion poll conducted by the Near East Consulting Corporation in the Gaza Strip reveals an even higher rate—47 percent of all Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. [50] Translated into numbers of people, as of 2006, more than a million Arabs in the Palestinian territories wish to emigrate. As journalist Amit Cohen noted in 2007, "Close to 14,000 Palestinians, more than 1 percent of the population in the Strip, have left the Gaza Strip since the implementation of the withdrawal program,[51] largely for financial reasons.[52]

In an interview reported in the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat around the same time, Salam Fayyad, head of the Emergency Palestinian Government, commented: "How will we be able to deal with the problem of 40,000 to 50,000 Palestinians who have emigrated and many more that are not emigrating just because they do not have the means? We are losing in this respect."[53]

The misuse of demography has been one of the most prominent, yet unexamined, aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Many Israelis have so thoroughly absorbed the repeated claims of a diminishing Jewish majority that they do not consider whether their conventional wisdom is false. Before an accurate demographic picture of Israel and the Palestinian territories trickles down to the consciousness of the residents of the region, it must first be understood by Israeli and Palestinian policymakers, academics, and journalists, who need accurate, factual information to do their jobs. The impact on the conflict of such a development would be substantial

Moreover, the Jewish birthrate in Judea and Samaria ( AKA the West Bank) which includes a high percentage of religious Jews is almost equal to the Palestinian birth rate in terms of births per woman.If you factor out Gaza, it amounts to a 67% Jewish majority in 98.5% of the land west of the Jordan River. And that's without factoring in the 'fudge' factor from the Palestinian Authority.

Or, as Yasir Arafat once said, "I've killed for my cause..don't you think I would lie for it?"

(hat tip, Carl)


Happy-Balagan said...

you are correct that the "demographic time bomb" is not supported by the data.

There is no chance that an Arab majority will rise in Israel any time soon.

What is a fear though, is that Israel's status as a Jewish nation is in danger.

While around 75% of the population is jewish, many of those people came from the former soviet union, and are Jewish only in the sense that they have at least one jewish grand parent. Religiously and culturally, they are closer to Christians, and would support a secular Israeli nation.

Their numbers are also decreasing rapidly, drastically slowing Israel's rate of immigrant absorbtion.

Then there is the prospect of some kind of Palestinian "refugee right of return" being part of some future peace agreement.

And also there are about 100,000 illegal immigrants living in Israel who are definately not Jewish.

If all these factors were to combine, and the Jewish population were to drop down to lets say %60. Would Israel still be a Jewish nation?

Freedom Fighter said...

Ma na mim, Balagan!

I think there is a decent prospect for secular and religious Israelis to get along quite well...especially since a number of the people you mention from the Former Soviet Union share a political view on the right with the religious Zionists.

What Yisrael Beiteinu wants is easier conversions and that could be the ticket.

For that matter, I could even see the Israelis encouraging people like the Gurkhas settling there. They will fight for Israel, honor the country's civilization as a Jewish nation and be an asset, just like the Druse.

As for an Arab RoR, Israel will never agree to it unless the country decides on national suicide as a policy goal. For
that matter, I don't even see places like Ariel, Gilo or Gush Etzion being abandoned. The reverse in fact - if the Palestinians don't get their act together soon, theymay lose some of the areas they now occupy in Judea and Samaria.

Time is on Israel's side, not the Palestinians.

Wise Bass said...

That's still one-third of your expected overall population west of the Jordan River being Arab. Not South Africa, but Lebanon perhaps.

And excluding Gaza is somewhat disingenuous, seeing as how it is at least theoretically going to be included in any future Palestinian state.

Freedom Fighter said...

Hello Wise Bass,

I'm afraid I can't quite see your point.

Three things...

First of all, as I pointed out, the term 'Arab' doesn't necessarily mean 'Palestinian'. And as a matter of fact, even a fair percentage of the'Palestinians' in Israel prefer to live there as opposed to a Palestinian state under either Fatah or Hamas...over 70% according to the Palestinian thinktank the Jerusalem Communication Center's polls.

Second, as I've shown, the percentage of Arabs to Jews in pre-1967 Israel has remained constant since 1948 at around 20%, the Jewish birthrates in Judea and Samaria have almost reached parity with the Arab birthrate and you discount the fact that a fair number of Palestinians in Judea and Samaria as well as in Hamastan in Gaza want to emigrate an dlive elsewhere.

And third, there's no guarantee that Gaza will be part of a future unified territory with any Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria..and in any case, leaving it out makes sense because unless the Israelis occupy it again, it has no more effect on the ratio of Jews to Arabs in Israel than does Syria or Egypt.

Finally, there are also a number of Arabs living in Israel who have what are called residence permits but whom are not citizens. If there is a future Fatah Palestinian state, there's a good probabilty they'll be repatriated there by Israel.

Thanks for dropping by.

Anonymous said...

The numbers given don't seem to agree with other sources. For example...

...cites a UN estimated Palestinian population of nearly 4.5 million by 2010 in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. It also cites a conservative World Bank estimate of 4.8 million by 2015.

Which areas are being counted and excluded in the original population figures given?

Freedom Fighter said...

Hi Anonymous,
The article you site is based on two surveys; a CIA estimate 15 years old and a UN estimate almost ten years old.

A) My figures are more recent

b) Both surveys you cite include Gaza, which is inaccurate for reasons explained above, namely that unless the Israelis reoccupy Gaza those numbers have zip to do with any 'demographic bomb aimed at Israel.The population figures logically should be limited to Israel, Judea and Samaria

c) Neither survey you cite accounts for the high rate of 'Palestinian' emigration, especially from Judea and Samaria.

d) Neither survey you cite differentiates between 'Palestinians' living in Israel and other Arab goups like Circassians, Bedouins or Druse who consider themselves Israelis, mostly do not identify at all with the 'Palestinians' and serve in the IDF.

e) The UN survey in particular is suspect, because the UNRWA aid to the 'Palestinians' is per capita and the "Palestinians' have been shown again and again to vastly inflate their numbers to get the money.

f) Neither survey explains why the ratio of Jews to Arabs in pre-'67 Israel has remained constant since 1948, at 80%...or accounts fo rthe lower Arab birth rate in Israel as the Arab population becomes more prosperous and educated.

G) If we're talking about Judea and Samaria (AKA the West Bank)neither survey accounts for the difference between the increased Jewish birthrate and lowered Arab birthrates in Judea and Samaria. According to the latest figures, which I cite, the fertility rate difference is a mere one child difference, which hardly constitutes a 'demographic bomb' even if the 'Palestinian' figures are not doctored.

Thanks for dropping by.

bericd said...

Dear author

I am not an israeli but obviously you have abolutely no idea of what you are talking about. The population in 1948 was about 45% arabs to 55% jews. Or rouglhy 400 thousand arabs, 300 of which fled (and a minority of them were evicted for tactical reasons) during the 1948-1949 war of independence. In 1949 there were a little more then a 100 thousand arabs in Israel. The number of jews grew from 600 thousand in 1948 to 5.5 million in 2010, but guess what - no because of high birth rate. Millions of jewish immigrants came to Israel from Europe, arab and muslim countries (they were persecuted even though they were not in the middle of anything), Latin America and Africa. And since the latest wave of more then a million jews from the former USSR in the begging of the 90's no real boost is given to the jewish population. Immigration was once the way to combat the high arab birth rate. Not anymore.
The curent birthrate among palestinian nationals (living in the West Bank and Gaza) is about 3.5 percent. After a simple mathematical equation you can see that their numbers double every 20 years. This doesn't take under consideration that because of medical progress even the birthrate is getting higher. Their numbers are not just speeding, their accelerating by 0.1% per year (square). Which means that if things continue Palestine will have not a 100% increase of it's population in 2030, but a 120-130% increase and the population growth rate would be 5.5% per year in 2030. This is the trend, don't argue with mathematics. In the israeli-arab community things are a bit diffrent - the birthrate is around 4% and the population growth rate (given the mortality rate under consideration) is around 3%, but the acceleration is negative (just under 0%). But still of the trends continue in several decades israeli arabs would be the majority, although they are not growing in numbers as quickly as those in the PA=

Freedom Fighter said...

Thanks for dropping by.

The figures you give remind me of another frequently told fairy story, the one about how the Jews 'only owned 5% of the land in Palestine.' When you figure correctly, as I'll point out, it was more like 44% of the settled land.

You come up with your numbers the same way - by including Jordan, which was originally part of the Palestine Mandate but was given to the Arabs gratis by the Brits in 1923 to be ruled by the Hashemites, after which any Jews living east of the Jordan River were expelled.

Since we're dealing in reality, let's talk about the population in Palestine west of the Jordan River.

Fact is, the population ratio in Israel after the 1948 war was exactly what it is today, 80% Jewish, 20% Arab.

Aside from Jewish immigration, the reason is simple. Israel's Arabs have a much higher living standard than Arabs elsewhere in the ME, and as we both know, when people's living standard increases, the birthrate tends to drop.

It's a very common mistake to lump together 'Arabs' as one monolithic group. Aside from the Quraysh Arabs (AKA 'Palestinians') there are Bedouins, Circassians, and Druze in those numbers, all of whom serve in the IDF and get along quite well with their Jewish neighbors...many(but by no means all) of the Quraysh living in Israel don't serve, but get along quite nicely with Jews as well.

So let's limit this discussion to Judea and Samaria, the West Bank.

As I've documented quite clearly, the Jewish birthrate in Judea and Samaria is almost equal to the Palestinian birth rate in terms of births per woman and is likely to continue so, while the Palestinian birth rate in that area is dropping because of Palestinian emigration and an improved economy.

If this trend continues, ( and there's no reason that I can see that it wouldn't) it amounts to a 2/3 Jewish majority in 98.5% of Judea and Samaria. And that's without factoring in the 'fudge' factor from the Palestinian Authority - as you know, they get paid aid money per capita and have been caught lying about this a number of times.

There's also nothing that says that Israel won't lose some of it's Arab population if there actually is a 'Palestinian' state cobbled together in the areas the 'Palestinians' now occupy. Aside from the fact that a small percentage number of Israeli Arabs could opt to live there, the Israelis would no doubt rid themselves of a great many 'Palestinians' who they were sily enough to allow to continue to live in places like Jerusalem after 1967 but who are not citizens.


bericd said...

Excuse me, where exactly did I mention anything concerning Jordan? I think you are mistaking.

I don't really care about Judea and Samaria, I am not a big fan of the settlers or their movement. And the jews there are mainly very religious and tend to make babies on a yearly basis :)

If think you should look closely to what I have written.

Freedom Fighter said...

"Excuse me, where exactly did I mention anything concerning Jordan?"

You're right, you didn't. And that's exactly my point...your numbers were based on including it.

I'm really glad you don't care about Judea and Samaria or the Jewish residents thereof.

That way, they can go back to what Jews do in the Holy Land..building and improving.